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NEW CHAIRMAN TO ADVISE ON LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE

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Gordon MacKerron will take over from today as the new chair of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM...
Gordon MacKerron will take over from today as the new chair of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), the independent body set up to advise the government and the devolved administrations on the options for dealing with much of the UK's radioactive wastes in the long-term.

This follows the resignation of Katharine Bryan who is taking up the post of chief executive of the Water Service, Department for Regional Development (Northern Ireland). Ms Bryan was appointed to CoRWM in July 2003. Mr MacKerron is already a member of CoRWM following his own appointment on 17 November 2003.

Elliot Morley, environment minister, said: 'I am naturally sorry that Katharine Bryan will not be able to lead CoRWM in carrying out the very challenging job that it has been given by the government. She has set the committee on very much the right lines and I wish her every success in her new post.

'Together with my environment minister colleagues in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, I invited Gordon MacKerron to succeed Katharine and I am pleased to say that he has accepted. He is another exceptionally able candidate who will, we are confident, build on the sound beginning to CoRWM's work. The good progress will be maintained.'

NOTES

Gordon MacKerron is 56, married, and lives in Brighton. He is an economist who worked for many years in the Science and Technology Policy Research unit at the University of Sussex. He is now an associate director of NERA Economic Consulting, specialising in energy policy. He holds no other ministerial appointment and has not undertaken any political activity in the past five years.

Mr MacKerron's appointment was made in accordance with the Code of Practice for appointments to public bodies.

Following a consultation exercise managing radioactive waste safely which ran from September 2001 to March 2002, Margaret Beckett announced on 29 July 2002 that the government and the devolved administrations for Scotland, Wales and Northern I reland would be setting up CoRWM.

The committee's remit is to review the options for safely managing the UK's higher activity wastes, effectively those for which no long-term management route currently exists, and recommend to the UK government and the devolved administrations the option, or options, that will ensure the safety of people and protect the environment.

Ms Beckett stressed that the new body must win public confidence and operate in an open, transparent and inclusive manner.

Read Managing Radioactive Waste Safely - proposals for developing a policy for managing solid radioactive waste in the UK here.

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